Competition for Norway’s Melodi Grand Prix is heightening, with the likes of KEiiNO, Rein Alexander and Raylee returning to the final. With so many favourites, let’s take a look at another song that has the fans talking. What exactly are these elusive Witch Woods?

Scroll down for “Witch Woods” lyrics.

Melodi Grand Prix 2021: Emmy “Witch Woods”

20-year-old Emmy Kristine Guttulsrud Kritiansen hails from Holmestrand and is no stranger to music. This is her first year in Melodi Grand Prix, but as a teenager she participated in the 2015 Junior Melodi Grand Prix. Despite her young age, she’s written over a hundred songs and released several on her Youtube channel. The most successful of these is “Bjørnar”, which she describes as “some kind of homemade party music”. She’s currently studying visual communication at the University of Southeast Norway, but taking time out to try her hand at Eurovision.

What do the “Witch Woods” lyrics mean?

“Witch Woods” was written by Olli Äkräs, Elsa Søllesvik and Morten Franck. The song is a fan favourite in the competition and was widely favoured to win the third semi-final, which it did.

“Witch Woods” combines electro-swing with Norse mythology, feminism and a rejection of consumerism. Throughout the song, Emmy teases a “city boy” by describing how useless his creature comforts are in the wild. Things that serve him well in his comfortable daily life can’t save him in the forest. “Really cool car, wow, good for you / In the muddy swamp, what’s it gonna do?” She also rejects the consumerist ideal of women. “If you like innocent Barbies more, hit the road, boy, go buy it in a store”.

Emmy also mentions how consumerist society devalues animals. “Got big bad wolves, ain’t got no poodles / Wild pets don’t care much for humans”, and how people in the modern world have been raised completely unable to cope with the natural world. “Bet your mama read you bedtimes stories / Nothing to prepare for the real-life forest”.

Throughout the chorus, she then taunts the “city boy” about his helplessness and mentions all the things she could do to him. “We’ll burn you up in a bonfire!”, “We have put our magic spell on you!”, and the iconic line “We chop-chop boys like we chop-chop wood”.

It’s a very clever Halloween-esque song, and really reaches to the essence of nature vs. city. Emmy sums it up with the last line “Welcome to the hood”, a line usually sung by male rappers with fast cars and gold chains, but subverted in this song to show how shallow and useless those objects actually are in the wild. Welcome to the Witch Woods!

“Witch Woods” lyrics – Emmy (Melodi Grand Prix 2021)

Full moon’s on the rise
Darkness fills with eyes

Beware city boy, white shoes get dirty
And these woods don’t show no mercy
Really cool car, wow, good for you
In the muddy swamp, what’s it gonna do?
Step up, city boy, make sure you’re ready
It’s gonna get wild and hairy
If you like innocent Barbies more
Hit the road, boy, go buy it in a store

Full moon’s on the rise
Darkness fills with eyes
We burn you up in a bonfire (Burn you up in a bonfire)
It’s a sinful night
Your soul will touch the sky
We have put our magic spell on you

Welcome to the witch woods
Wеlcome to the witch woods
Welcomе to the hood

Got big bad wolves, ain’t got no poodles
Wild pets don’t care much for humans
Bear pong is not what it seems
Better run fast in your ripped-up jeans
Bet your mama read you bedtime stories
Nothing to prepare for the real-life forest
Your mama wouldn’t know, to be honest

Full moon’s on the rise
Darkness fills with eyes
We burn you up in a bonfire (Burn you up in a bonfire)
Stirring in the pot
Potion’s getting hot
The only missing part is you

Welcome to the witch woods
Welcome to the witch woods
Welcome to the hood
Here we chop, chop boys, like we chop, chop wood
Uh, welcome to the hood

Chop, chop, burn it up
Fire’s hot, can’t stop
Must chop, choppy chop
Gather it and burn it up

Welcome to the witch woods
Welcome to the witch woods
Welcome to the hood
Here we chop, chop boys, like we chop, chop wood
Uh, welcome to the hood

What do you think of “Witch Woods”? Do you appreciate the message? Let us know below!

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Stian F
Stian F
2 months ago

I love this review and this way of interpretating the lyrics and it all makes sense to me.

I though cant stand those hateful comments that claims it’s a violent song and comparing it with actual violence against men/boys… The lyrics are seriously as tounge-in-cheek as they can get, as literally noone ever actually burns people on bonfires or chop them up. Its not like she is singing “hit you/slap you up/kill you/murder you” – like, literal things that happen every day to lots of people.

mawnck
mawnck
2 months ago

Yeah, no. It isn’t about consumerism. She’s just dissing the boy before she chop chops him. Don’t overthink the novelty numbers.

Also, in what universe is this electro-swing? It’s more electro-fiddler-on-the-roof.

Azaad
Azaad
2 months ago

I appreciate that this may have been the genuine authorial intent of the song but all I say is a Descendants Disney channel style track. If you’re going to tackle consumerism, the metaphor of witchcraft seems like a strange one to choose, given that witch trials were rooted in misogyny, so the witchcraft metaphor makes more sense for a song being against misogyny. It seems like Emmy is trying to make the song seem more deep than it is, which I get, but still…it’s no XS by Rina Sawayama.

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago

No thanks.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago

The imagery of witches and bonfires comes from the Salem witch trials, an actual historic event. Not Halloween or Sabrina. An important part of the story of feminism – it’s valid.

Jimmy Smit
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

The practice and imagery of witch trials/burnings significantly predates Salem. The primacy of the Salem witch trials is purely an Americanism.

Witch trials in the US were a practice born from Europeans, who had been trialing and burning as a common practice since at least the Middle Ages. Customs like Walpurgis Night demonstrate the even longer history! Ghastly stuff.

Now you’ve got me thinking about the most famous European example of a ‘witch’ trialed and burnt on a bonfire…probably Joan of Arc?

Last edited 2 months ago by Jimmy Smit
Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I shouldn’t have used Salem as the only example – it’s not. I just thought it was the most famous, so probably where their idea came from – an Arthur Miller-inspired Eurovision song. It could happen.

Una
Una
2 months ago

I’ve tried to understand the anti-consumerism angle. I couldn’t.
The issue of *violence* bothers me. Expressing it in such casual way does not take it away. It’s worrying considering how serious the issue of *violence* is, how widespread and how underaddressed. I cannot bring myself to saying more than that. *my opinion*.

Jimmy Smit
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

You’re right. These lyrics are pretty graphic, however playfully they’re presented. If it was Xavier Naidoo singing this song about women there’d be an outcry.

Una
Una
2 months ago
Reply to  Jimmy Smit

I wish there were more outcry considering the reverse of roles – girl/woman vs. boy. Men of all ages suffer from violence at the hands of women too. Just that that sad reality is swept under the carpet because this is the way our societies are made. Meaning more suffering and less help. I could talk for ages about it. I won’t. I just wish people got more educated on the matter. Even that tiny bit of education and understanding could help.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

This is a comment I can wholeheartedly agree with and confirm, you are absolutely right. However, as far as this song is concerned, to me, it sounds pretty clearly tongue-in-cheek.

Una
Una
2 months ago

I sincerely thank you for agreeing.

Song must be tongue-in-cheek – of course it is. Playful and cheeky. Yet I disagree with the “mental gymnastics” to try to explain the unexplainable (not your comment, Mr Vanilla Bean). Too many issues with that song. It’s a shame. It’s 2021.

Jimmy Smit
2 months ago

To say that the song is clearly tongue-in-cheek is a straw-man argument. No one is suggesting that the singer or songwriters are literally witches committing criminal acts. The point is valid whether the song’s lyrics are tongue in cheek or not — indeed, songs like ‘Blurred Lines’ are criticised exactly because they make light of something quite serious.

Also, Una’s comment definitely didn’t need a ‘confirmation’ from anyone.

Grft
Grft
2 months ago
Reply to  Una

Women represent 95% of the victims of domestic violence. I think a playful song about women trying to put patriarchy down is not something too harmful when we know those numbers. Men have been killing women for centuries, the witch trials were just another example of this. And I find it really playful to have a song reversing the situation.

Tina
Tina
2 months ago

My fave in Norway

Preuss
Preuss
2 months ago

If we don’t send IMERIKA, then I want us to send this. Emmy’s vocals are stellar and on point, and the staging is already good, but you can do so much more with it. And her facial expressions are so good and fits perfectly, especially near the end where she gives a wicked little laugh and sings “welcome to the witch wood”, it’s so good! Though, it seems like it’s a battle between TIX and KEiiNO. Worst case scenario is if my fellow countrymen decide to send TIX – we’ll be sending the name and brand “TIX” instead of an… Read more »

Grft
Grft
2 months ago
Reply to  Preuss

I loveeee Emmy as well. Such a good and modern song. I wish she could be more dynamic on stage though (even though I agree she’s fun to watch at the end). But team Imerika!

GiornoGiovanna
GiornoGiovanna
2 months ago
Reply to  Preuss

KEiiNO is honestly Norway’s only option for a top 10 ranking.

Ethan
Ethan
2 months ago

definitely my favourite from MGP this year, would be so pleased if it won or at least got to the gold final 🙂

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago

I just took it is a fun song about self-proclaimed witches teasing clueless, entitled mama boys but this anti-consumerism interpretation makes me like it even more. I wish San Marino would send her to Eurovision, since it’s most likely no going to happen in the Norwegian final.

Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago

On the other hand, nobody would probably dare sing about chop-chopping girls, though. But double standards are not the fault of this song, so I’ll keep enjoying it anyway.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

I agree that there are double standards, but I wouldn’t mind hearing reverse either, if it’s in a context this harmless. If a young guy like Daniel Owen sung a teen show intro number about a wizard / vampire and said he’ll chop girls if they dare to approach his castle, I’d be equally entertained and wouldn’t take it as an actual threat.

However, in some other songs, there are messages with thinly veiled misogyny (mostly with sexual undertones) or misandry (mostly about bodily harm). They are, however, thankfully extremely rare in a world of ESC NFs.

Last edited 2 months ago by Colin
Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Agreed. But it might be a little more tricky for a guy to pull it off in a way that comes across as harmless and in good fun. I’ve always liked witches better than vampires. Is there such a thing as a male witch? I’d love that part. 🙂

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

Sure – a wizard / warlock (sometimes called a witch too) 🙂

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

I like the anti-consumerism undertone too (I’m always for keeping forests safe), even though I think that it’s primary meaning is still being a fun intro song of cool boss witch clan. As for San Marino, they already have Senhit, but maybe UK, Poland or Armenia could just send her? That kind of swap never happened in the history of ESC, but every year I hope it would. 🙂

Last edited 2 months ago by Colin
Mr Vanilla Bean
Mr Vanilla Bean
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

It might be a little too good to serve the BBC’s usual high-achieving goals of coming bottom 5, but I would certainly like Emmy to destroy those goals. 🙂

Thanos
Thanos
2 months ago

Well if this really is what they had in mind when writing the lyrics, then I think that I appreciate the song a bit more now (although it’s my last place unfortunately). Still though, it kinda feels childish and Junior Eurovision to me. Good Luck nevertheless Emmy seems like a talented girl!

Last edited 2 months ago by Thanos
Mircs
Mircs
2 months ago
Reply to  Thanos

You’re right, this song is overall not what you would expect when it comes to the adult Eurovision. But she’s 20-years young and I think it captures some good fantasy-elements which are more commonly for younger people. I think about TV-Shows as Sabrina or Fairy-mythologies which have similar motives. For that reason I find it kind of appropriate for a young women whose between adolescence and grown-up to mix childhood-fairytales with scary adult-horroresque-stories.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago

I think that people are dwelling too deep for metaphors in this one. I believe it’s probably just what it appears to be – a fun musical number about a young witch (not Wicca, not real-life witch, just your cute, inoffensive CW / Disney Channel witch) who tries to both scare and impress a boy she likes. Emmy is not missing the angle of being scary. She succeeds in being cute while honestly pretending to be scary. That takes talent. It slowly became one of my favorites. Just by how well it plays into the whole Halloween theme and how… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I am only able to forgive this song if it is a fun, slightly childish role play. There are real witches out there and we definitely wouldn’t tolerate such a portrayal of any other faith/belief

Tina
Tina
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

The song doesn’t give an f about your forgiveness.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Tina

Well as long as you don’t bleat when you are the one being targeted, you can swill about in that opinion as much as you want. You make your bed, you lie in it. I maintain that we only build a better society when everyone feels like they belong.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I think I remember you voting for Brexit and then Boris. If only you had been thinking that way then…

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

Bad memory there Jonas

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I apologize. I thought we’d argued over it before.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Jonas

I think we argued over the lady from Buck’s Fizz representing UKIP. I think I said people shouldn’t be clouded by politics when liking an artist or not but I never diluged who I voted for because it is nobody’s business.

Jonas
Jonas
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Thanks for reminding me – I just looked up that Jay Aston article, and you definitely seemed to show strong support for Brexit and the conservatives, as is your right – and you don’t have to justify that to me. I’m just not sure what I’m apologizing for anymore.

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Kosey, it’s not my right to tell you how to feel, but I truly believe that this song isn’t about actual practicing witches (Wiccas) at all. It’s just that both Wiccan practices and fairytales have their roots somewhat in ancient tales about witches. However, the two are very much apart and just by how fairytale witches are present in popular culture, I’d say that it’s easy to tell the two apart. The song says nothing regarding religion, belief or faith. It’s not a spiritual song at all. If it was making fun of Wiccas (or anyone) I’d also be against… Read more »

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Colin, I see merit in your point of view – like I said, I genuinely think this is a bit of fun, she is playing a fictional character and doing a bit of dress-up. I get that people will see enjoyment in that. However, there does come a point when as a society we do have to look at ourselves and say are we happy that this exists as a form of entertainment? You can look back through history regarding race, sex, sexuality and what was seen as a harmless bit of fun is now quite rightly frowned upon. I… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Kosey
Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I absolutely agree with what you said, everyone should be treated with respect. However, I do find the term (in *this context*) purely fictional, as fictional witches were a part of the folklore before the religion with a similar name was widely known. I fear that if we start dissecting everything that could out of the context become offensive to some, we’ll have absolutely nothing left. Ghosts =/= spirits, Giants =/= people with acromegaly, Zombies =/= people who get resuscitated from a clinical death and so on. Everything could be taken as an offense and as a result, we’d have… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Colin
Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

I respect your opinion and everyone is entitled to them of course. In this instance, we don’t agree and that’s fine. As a species, we have a habit of putting modern ideals onto the past and no doubt people in the future will do the same to things we find acceptable today. I don’t believe things like blackface were done at the time to degrade anyone, it was done to imitate an unusual part of a society that people were fascinated by. It has now been pointed out to people how problematic it is in modern society. I see equivalence… Read more »

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

I know we won’t be looking on this with the same way, but I really don’t want to appear insensitive nor unclear. For instance, I do agree that blackface wasn’t (at least not all the time) used for the purpose of degrading, but it was used to mimic black people either way. It was directed directly towards them and not accidentally matched their tone trying to convey something else entirely. I think that the vast majority would in this context only think about fictional fairytale witches. Now, if the song referenced actual rituals and spoke about faith, throwing in some… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Colin
Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Yes, I am definitely not suggesting that you are dismissing anything and I am definitely grown up enough to know that everyone doesn’t think in the same way. I had a family member who openly identified as a witch and so I am just speaking from experience regarding how problematic this song’s lyrics are in my opinion. The lyrics do refer to genuine practices undertaken in Wicca (eg, spells, the importance of the full moon) – these things are genuinely important. And then the song throws out all sorts of dangerous stereotypes – muddy swamps, bonfires, forests. If Emmy were… Read more »

Colin
Colin
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

Just to make it clear, I didn’t dislike any of your comments, as I wouldn’t do that just because someone is speaking their mind and having a different opinion. As old fairytales predate Wiccan practices and are separate in many ways, I personally still find this song quite harmless and fun. Sure, both have some common imagery, but I think it’s because both took over some concepts of witchcraft known from long before. That doesn’t mean that they are that similar. And judging by the way the song is written and staged, I find it pretty clear that it’s the… Read more »

Mircs
Mircs
2 months ago

It’s a great track that I never skip it. Her live vocals where much better than I expected. However, this song serves a lot of attitude lyrically which she couldn’t fully translate to the big stage. That of course correlates with nervousness, her young age and experience-level. She’s not Raylee. But due to her new gained experience, feedback and time to figure some things out I have high hopes, that this problem will be fixed on saturday. It’s great to see that this kind of song gets the recognition (until yet) it deserves.

Kosey
Kosey
2 months ago

Why did she have to reference witches? Did anyone challenge her on that?

Whisker
Whisker
2 months ago
Reply to  Kosey

No one apparently.